The Council of the District of Columbia unanimously amended the District of Columbia Traffic Adjudication Act of 1978 to eliminate the suspension of drivers’ licenses for unpaid traffic debt or failure to appear at hearings.
Tzedek DC's client received several red-light camera tickets approximately three years ago. After transitioning, she legally changed her name. However, her driver license still has her old name on it. Because of her unpaid tickets, which she cannot afford to repay at this time, the DMV has told her that she cannot get a new license with her correct legal name on it.
This report is the result of a collaborative research project from 20 community-based organizations that studied the costs of incarceration on families across 14 states.
Because Tzedek DC's client did not have private property to park his car on, he was forced to park in different spots around his neighborhood. As a result, he received several parking tickets., which doubled after he was unable to pay. He fell ill in 2012, and was unable to renew his license due to outstanding debt. He feels very strongly that the inability to renew his license has negatively affected his health, both directly and through the stress it has caused.